Sober living

How to Wean Off Alcohol & Safely Taper Drinking

Try not to do this for too many days, though, or you may get stuck at that point. This might be a pretty safe way to taper, as long as you’re not decreasing by over 20-30% per step. I’ve heard of some people doing 10% a week and having success that way. I once went from averaging 25 how to taper off alcohol a day to 10 the first day and five the second day. The first night I barely slept because of auditory hallucinations and the second night I had tunnel vision and felt like a stroke victim. I took a few shots and luckily nothing bad happened, but something easily could have happened.

Individuals should be prepared to be uncomfortable during this period and have someone on call in case medical help is needed. This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention. During the 12- to 24-hour time frame after the last drink, most people will begin to have noticeable symptoms. These may still be mild, or the existing symptoms might increase in severity.

Withdrawal and Safety When Tapering Off Alcohol

«Now that most of the physical symptoms have gone away, time to work at staying sober. This is usually where I mess up and drink because I am feeling better and think I can handle it. I know I can’t.» This article will discuss the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well as the timeline and process of detox. Late symptoms begin between two and four days after the last drink, and they usually include changes in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.

Insomnia, anxiety and paranoia — the opposite effects of alcohol — are the expected results. Thus, a user will likely seek out alcohol again to rid themselves of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Those who experience the most severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations and seizures, don’t begin to have those symptoms until days four or five. For most people, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin sometime in the first eight hours after their final drink. Most people recover from alcohol withdrawal within a week, but people with severe dependency may experience withdrawal for multiple weeks. Alcohol causes serious changes in the brain, and prolonged symptoms such as sleep problems, mood changes and fatigue may take months to overcome, according to the U.S.

Can Tapering Down Alcohol Use Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

The last thing you want is to run out of booze at three in the morning thinking you’re about to have a seizure. This condition most often occurs when someone who has long-term alcohol dependence stops drinking cold turkey. But if heavy drinkers cut back on their average number of drinks too quickly, they may be at risk of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

If you repeatedly cannot cut back on your drinking or otherwise cannot get lower than a certain point in the taper, this might not be the right method for you. You can look into medication assisted treatment, such as getting the anti-craving medication Naltrexone, see if your doctor will give you benzodiazepines to taper with, or go to rehab/detox. These schedules are largely based on my experience of self tapering, what I’ve read on r/dryalcoholics and HAMS Harm Reduction Guide to Tapering. The rest of this guide addresses pre-planning, withdrawal symptoms, planning, creating a taper schedule, and next steps after a taper. I’d encourage you to read them all, but at the very least please read the sections on withdrawal symptoms and the schedule itself. To learn about how our substance abuse treatment programs address alcohol dependence and withdrawal management, please contact us today.

Tapering/Weaning Off Alcohol: What You Need To Know

If you have a seizure, the best thing they can do is stay with you, move any hazardous objects out of the way, prevent you from falling on anything hard, and call 911. They shouldn’t hold you down and there’s no real need to worry about choking on your tongue. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance. These strategies work in different ways to help you quit drinking, and one or the other may be appropriate for you based on your needs.

can you taper off alcohol

«I still feel really anxious and panicky and confused sometimes, especially in public.» «By day five, I started exercising, and by day seven, I cranked the intensity up from there. My skin and eyes look better, and the bloated stomach is starting to recede.» «I am starting to feel more human. The exhaustion has gone away, and my concentration seems better.» «I realize this is no easy task. I am in my 30s and just now have decided to quit. I am not sleeping right. I snap at everyone.» «Most symptoms are gone except constipation and occasional shakes. Been sleeping really good.»

The alcohol content itself is important, and it depends on the percentage of alcohol, the proof of the alcohol and the actual amount of alcohol in the drink. If you think you’re tapering too quickly, it’s okay to slow down. Just because you had 8 drinks instead of 6 one day doesn’t mean you’ve failed, especially if you still drank the same or less than the previous day. Maybe you just need to set more realistic goals for yourself and slow your taper.

  • «I feel great. To all those that are ready to give up because of withdrawals, hang in there! It does get better.»
  • While this probably still reduces the risk of a seizure or DTs, it’s certainly better than just quitting completely on day one, you’re going to be putting your body and brain through hell doing this.
  • Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.
  • Even more, doctors are known to prescribe rather powerful and addictive benzodiazepines to aid in alcohol withdrawal.
  • Whether that’s watching TV, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, going for a walk, or taking a bath.

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